Title: Bullet Ballet

Also known as:

Year: 1998

Genre: Experimental / Crime / Drama / Independent

Language: Japanese / English

Runtime: 87 min

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163563/

Goda's life goes through a sudden change when his girlfriend of 10 years commits suicide with a gun she was holding on to for a guy. Goda becomes obsessed with tracking down the same kind of gun that she shot herself with, a Chief's Special. While searching for this powerful weapon, he finds himself in the middle of underground punk gangs, and will soon be needing the power of the Chief's Special.

Our thoughts:
Shinya Tsukamoto, you crazy Japanese filmmaker, you keep on impressing me. I'm slowly going through the filmography of this man, and I find myself ordering "Bullet Ballet". I'd be lying if I said it was a purchase I regret. In fact, this is not too far from being his best work. It's different but much the same. You will feel like you are watching a Shinya Tsukamoto movie, you'll feel right at home with it, but much like his other works, you'll be blown away by his incredible ways to make the most standard type of movie interesting. It's more in the likes of "A Snake of June" than "Tetsuo" or even his horror attempts "Nightmare Detective" and "Hiruko The Goblin".

The suicide of Goda's girlfriend comes early on in the movie and right away we're thrown into his battle of finding the exact same gun model as the one his girl killed herself with. He searches high and low for this weapon, and gets tricked a few times along the way, like accidently buying a water gun. He's soon getting in the middle of gang fights and underground violence, and falling for a girl from one of the gangs. When he finally tracks down the gun and has it in his hands, he becomes obsessed with the power it possesses and sooner than later uses it against some of the punks he meets along the way.

"Bullet Ballet" really brings out the power that a gun carries. Not only because it's focused around the obsession of one, but the sound of a gunshot has never been as strong and loud as it is in this movie. This was a clever way to bring out a point, and it made the gun fight at the end a real pleasure. Aside from the crime part of the movie, it also has a nice and slow emotional story going on. Shinya Tsukamoto plays the broken man who lost his life when his girlfriend dies, and he does it perfectly.

I mentioned earlier that you'll feel right at home with this one, and not only because Shinya Tsukamoto usually has a very distinct style to his films, but the music is done by Chu Ishikawa, the same man who did the amazing soundtrack to.. You guessed it.. "Tetsuo". The music here is much the same, and it's just as great to hear those clinky beats once again.

Shinya Tsukamoto continues to impress and I'm not lying when I say that if the rest of his movies are half as good as the ones I've watched so far, he's not far from being my favorite director. With titles like "Haze" and "Gemini" left to watch, which are titles that seem to be ranked highly among the fans, I highly doubt I will be disappointed. Few directors have flawless careers, but so far Shinya Tsukamoto does. Enough of that... If you are sick of the ordinary crime movies that are being pumped out, "Bullet Ballet" will tickle the right spot. It's a really good movie in every possible way and I can't imagine what kind of odd person would dislike this movie. Of course, if people can praise some of the ridiculous directors that are making movies today, surely there are freaks who would dislike the works of Shinya Tsukamoto. But I want none of that on my website, so hopefully YOU are good enough of a movie fan to enjoy this.

Positive things:
- The big bangs of the guns.
- Great soundtrack!
- Love the shoot out at the end.
- Slow but steady film.
Negative things:
- Not a damn thing. Honestly.

Gore: 0.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 4/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1/5

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